To Your Health: Gear up for a productive, safe canning season

By Leia Kedem/University of Illinois Extension

Here in the Midwest, home canning has been a way of life for many since before they could even remember. But home canning has enjoyed a surge in popularity in the past few years, thanks to Americans' increased interest in the local food movement and desire to be economical in the wake of our recession.

Woman invites restaurants to compete for gluten-free diet training

URBANA — Eating onions that were grilled on the same surface that grilled a hamburger bun isn't a big deal for most people.

But a seemingly small thing like that can make Dana Mancuso and other people with celiac disease sick.

Meg Makes: Tunneling into angel food with chocolate

My husband, Rob, recently had a birthday. In his family, the birthday favorite is this delectable cake made by my mother-in-law, Mary Dickinson.

It's called Angel-Food Waldorf from Mary's "Betty Crocker Cookbook," but I have a newer version of the cookbook that doesn't contain it.

Wine coming to Urbana market, festival coming to downtown Urbana

URBANA — Coming soon to your local farmer's market: wine, beer and spirits.

After creating a new liquor license category with the blessing of the city council and mayor, the city of Urbana now allows purveyors of Illinois wine, whiskey and other alcoholic beverages to sell their products at the farmers market. Also on the horizon this summer: a new wine festival in its downtown.

You say Tomato, We say YUM!

What a piece of work is a tomato, how noble in its bounty, how infinite in its varieties.

Legendary coach Lee Cabutti grows acres of them, but you could simply do a hanging vine basket on your patio. Wait 'til Mother's Day to plant them, or live dangerously like the coach and start putting them in now.

It's Your Business: Villa Italian Kitchen coming to town

Villa Italian Kitchen is coming to Market Place Shopping Center in May, opening in the space formerly occupied by Sbarro.

The Champaign store will be one of 40 Villa Italian Kitchens to open soon in regional malls as the result of a recent deal with General Growth Properties, which owns about 120 malls including Market Place.

Food favorites, flops, 'freshman 15'

We asked Dawn Aubrey about some of the food innovations (and flops) at UI Dining Services.

On today's student culinary preferences

"They want an interesting flavor profile. Food is no longer just nourishment. It's an experience. So it's got to be interesting in smell and taste and how it looks."

On the latest ethnic additions

Meg Makes: Take these recipes and run with them

Chances are, if you live around here, you know about and are possibly running in or volunteering for the Christis Clinic Illinois Marathon and its assorted races this weekend.

Meg Makes: It's no grind turning leftovers into ham loaf

I had never heard of ham loaf until Urbana resident Kathy Wallig brought it to my attention.

She wanted to make it, but found her food processor was liquifying her ham.

I offered to let her borrow the meat-grinder attachment for my stand mixer if she promised to share her ham loaf recipe for this column.

New rules bring fresh look at school lunch

When the bell for Monticello High School's first lunch period rings, freshman Blakley Nesselrodt heads to "the snack bar" in the cafeteria.

Never mind that it's two or three times as long as the hot lunch line.